What happens to ocean liners at the end of their lifecycle? Until now, these ships have been demolished in India or Bangladesh, where workers’ conditions are not always as they should be. As EU regulation tightens, ships that have sailed under EU Member State flags must undergo certified demolition within the EU. However, there is no demolition site for large ocean liners.
A new EU Directive, which is expected to enter into force in 2017, sets out to ensure that the demolition of ships is safe for both the environment and people. At the moment, no Member State has a permanent demolition site for ships longer than 100 metres. Finland is highly competitive in this regard, as we are able to demolish even large ships in a way that is sustainable for the environment and people.
Up to 90% of ship materials can be recycled
Funded by Tekes, the Ship Recycling project sets out to investigate how Finland could respond to this global challenge. The project consortium includes Turku Repair Yard Ltd, Meriaura Ltd, Delete Finland and Industrial and Ship Cleaning Services Hans Langh. The Ship Recycling project aims to launch a ship demolition industry in Finland.
Almost a thousand ocean liners are demolished globally every year. Each ship weighs thousands of tonnes. Up to 90% of the weight consists of ship steel and other materials that can be recycled. Following the demolition, the materials can be worth millions of euros. The creation of a demolition industry would create new jobs in Finland and provide opportunities for subcontractors.
Strict demolition criteria
Under the new EU Directive, ships can only be demolished by parties that have been accepted onto the EU’s list of ship recycling facilities. For example, the demolisher must be certified to perform demolitions.
“The Turku Repair Yard is Finland’s only shipyard specialising in ship repair that is large enough for ship demolitions. We could take apart ships up to 260 metres long. We are applying for the necessary permits from the Finnish authorities, which will hopefully help us to be accepted on the EU’s list of ship recycling facilities,” says Oskari Kosonen of the Turku Repair Yard.
The Ship Recycling project is currently in the planning phase. The next step will be the demo stage, during which an actual ship will be demolished. The project is part of Tekes’s Arctic Seas programme.
“The Arctic Seas programme aims to identify new business openings in the marine cluster. The Ship Recycling project is a prime example of the way in which new environmental regulation creates new cleantech business opportunities in the sector. Demolition and recycling expertise could also contribute to sustainable shipbuilding,” says Programme Manager Piia Moilanen from Tekes.
Government key project funding for pilot and demo projects
Tekes has provided funding for the pioneering planning of ship demolition, via the Government’s funding for key projects. Such funding is allocated for bio and demo projects in the bio, cleantech and digital sectors. The call for funding applications for 2017 will be reopened in October or November.
“Since the demonstration project budget for 2016 has not yet been exhausted, anyone who is interested should apply soon. More funding will be granted next year. This is a great moment to begin planning a demo project and contact Tekes on the issue,” says Chief Adviser Juha Suuronen of Tekes.
Matti Pettay, Chairman
tel. +358 40 715 0764
Juhani Linna, Senior Advisor
tel. +358 400 826 867
Piia Moilanen, Programme Manager
tel. +358 50 5577 748
Tekes, Arctic Seas programme
Juha Suuronen, Chief Adviser
tel. +358 2950 55896
Tekes, funding for bio, cleantech and digital sector pilots and demos